A knight needs a sword, right? That's what Terry Pratchett figured when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II last year. But when you're the creator of Discworld, not just any sword will do.
The author decided to make the sword himself, using deposits of iron ore he found in a field near his home in Wiltshire, west of London, which he smelted in a makeshift kiln fueled by sheep manure. But even that wasn't enough for him. He needed to toss in a very special ingredient.
Pratchett said that he added "several pieces of meteorites—thunderbolt iron, you see—highly magical, you've got to chuck that stuff in whether you believe in it or not."
He hammered the metal into bars, which he then took to a blacksmith, who helped him shape it into a blade, which is now being stored in a secret location. Apparently he's concerned that the authorities might take it from him.
"It annoys me that knights aren't allowed to carry their swords," he said. "That would be knife crime."
But they should make an exception for Pratchett, don't you think?